Man apologises to other men

// 28 October 2008

It’s taken me a good 12 hours to work out what’s been bugging me about Allen Stanford apologising to the England players.

For those of you who don’t follow cricket, Mr Stanford is a very rich man who is currently funding a Twenty20 tournament in Antigua, in which England are participating. He was pictured on Sunday sitting with the England players’ wives and girlfriends, and at one stage had Emily Prior, wife of wicketkeeper Matt, perched on his knee.

Echoes of Rio Ferdinand attributing part of the England football team’s failure to the media interest in the players’ wives and girlfriends, perhaps, but since then, there’s been a bit of a furore about it, with bowler Stuart Broad speaking for his team-mates: “There were a few gobsmacked faces when it popped up on the big screen. Matt was in state of total shock, especially as his wife is pregnant.” Stanford rang Matt Prior to apologise, and also called captain Kevin Pietersen to pass on his regret for causing offence.

And it’s only just occurred to me – maybe I’ve been too caught up in watching the cricket – where are the women in this story? Why is Stanford held totally culpable? Why does he have to apologise? Why is it worse for Matt Prior because his wife is pregnant? Maybe everyone’s conduct was a teensy bit inappropriate, but it’s not like there was an orgy going on in the stands, nor that anyone was harassed.

Presumably behind closed doors the couples have fought it out, but I can’t help feeling sorry for Stanford – or at least as sorry as you can feel for a billionaire with his own cricket ground.

Comments From You

Carolyn Roberts // Posted 29 October 2008 at 8:38 am

…and if he had done something wrong, why didn’t he apologise directly to Emily instead of apologising to her husband? I agree with you, this story is very odd.

Sabre // Posted 29 October 2008 at 10:01 am

Or why didn’t he also apologise to the women?

Leigh // Posted 29 October 2008 at 10:24 am

On the subject of apologies…

Have you ever had a guy (older, usually) swear or say something crass in front of you and then apologise if you overheard? Notice that they don’t apologise to the men in the room. There seems to be a belief that women should not be exposed to harsh language or rude behaviour, but it’s okay to share between men.

Cara // Posted 29 October 2008 at 1:13 pm

Well said.

And this is the same thing with Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand scandal – because Brand said he’d slept with the guy’s granddaughter or something. They didn’t apologise to HER, but to HIM. i.e. ‘sorry I tarnished the reputation of your PROPERTY’.

Same here. ‘Sorry, other man, for allowing your property to behave flirtatiously with me!’.

How about apologising to HER (in the Brand and Ross case) – or in this case, since it sounds like they were both being inappropriate, as long as she wasn’t coerced, it’s between the couple in question whether the behaviour was appropriate or not.

As you say – where are the women in this?

Ruth Moss // Posted 29 October 2008 at 3:23 pm


It reinforces the age-old idea that women are the property of men. If Prior wasn’t happy with his wife and Stanford flirting (if that’s what it was) then surely that’s between them, and it should have been his wife who apologised to him?

And “especially as she was pregnant” – what? That’s as if Broad (who I do normally love btw) is saying, “yeah, and because impregnated her, she was *definitely* his property”.


Actually I hate this whole Stanford 20/20 thing; the comercialisation of cricket, the getting away from test matches… but that’s a cricket thing and not really a gendered thing!

Mephit // Posted 30 October 2008 at 12:42 pm

@ Cara, I’m glad you said that about Brand & Ross: I’d been ranting about that very aspect of the story on my blog, but I was beginning to think I was on my own seeing it that way.

That’ll teach me to read the comment threads on news articles online, where it’s all turning into Georgina Baillie’s fault somehow 8).

Essen // Posted 30 October 2008 at 4:15 pm

I agree that here it’s about the property aspect and I totally agree – I’ve had people swear in front of a mixed group and only apologise to the women.

But part of the reason Brand and Ross should apologise to BOTH (and yeah, bad that they didn’t apologise to her) is that the messages were left on Sach’s answerphone. So they were making abusive calls to him, and should apologise for that, whatever the content of the offensiveness.

Cara // Posted 30 October 2008 at 6:04 pm

Mephit, glad you see it the same way!

Essen – I agree that since they left abusive messages to him on his answerphone they were right to apologise to him. Perhaps I wasn’t clear – I meant they should apologise to her *as well*.

I was just commenting on the property aspect, although I know he acknowledged that.

Why would he care who his granddaughter did or didn’t have sex with, since she’s an adult woman? (I assume she is, I think she’s 23 or something like that.)

‘I’ve shagged your *girlfriend/ wife/ daughter / insert female here* is one of the most popular ways for a male to insult another male.

And I agree Essen, I’ve only had the ‘oh sorry, there’s a lady present’ once, on work experience, when some guy accidentally said ‘shite’ (which isn’t even swearing, come on, if you’re going to swear at least say the actual word!)

Lawtears // Posted 1 November 2008 at 3:03 pm

I have to object to this ‘property’ issue as it’s presented. Believe it or not, I think that a wife is some man’s property and a husband is some woman’s property. Don’t think property as a nice tv or a spare vagina, but much more abstract. Like intellectual property, but instead of intellect, there’s love, caring, etc ie marriage. Ok, once there were dowry and there are still remnants of that about (of which, imo, this ‘propertyism’ is one of them) but I don’t see this as relevant today.

With that in mind, surely it is right that billionaire-bloke apologizes? Switch the genders round. Suppose your female colleague at work came on to your visiting husband? To me, she should apologize to you, not your husband.

As for why men apologize for swearing but only to women? That’s old school chivalry for you. Men are supposed to handle the word f***, why would they need an apology?

As for Ross and Brand, they apologized to Sach’s satisfaction, case closed. There’s not much in the way of ‘property’ here as she has, in fact, had sex with Brand and has hired Max Clifford to squeeze the PR. *Please* move on.


Carrie // Posted 1 November 2008 at 3:07 pm

Lawtears – there is no suggestion that Stanford “came on” to anyone. Harmless posturing.

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